Two teens who were handcuffed last week for reportedly selling water illegally on the National Mall have new summer jobs.
Nolan White and Devin Gatewood will be working for H.O.P.E. project in Southeast, D.C. The teens are learning business development and how to replace laptop and cell phone screens.
"I think it's a positive program. I'm grateful they're giving these kids an opportunity,” said Nolan’s mother Teknica Evans. “I hope this will be the beginning of something great."
"Nolan is specifically really interested in being an IT professional after one day of exposure to H.O.P.E Project," said founder Raymond Bell.
The mission of the program is to empower young adults to reach their potential through information technology training.
Bell heard about the teens’ run-in with the law and was inspired to help.
"The teens told me they wanted jobs at Six Flags and it didn't work out. There was too much competition, and they didn't get picked, so they decided to go downtown and make money selling water," Bell said.
He explained that the teens didn’t know they were breaking the law.
Bell hopes White and Gatewood will earn their IT certifications soon. Six-hundred students have graduated H.O.P.E Project since it started in 2009.
Bell is paying the teens out of his own pocket.